Mia Mercado (@miamarket) on Using Twitter to Develop Longer Material and (Not) Being Chill

mia-mercadoMia Mercado (@miamarket) is a writer living in Kansas City originally from Wisconsin. She has written for The New Yorker’s Daily Shouts, McSweeney’s, Reductress, Bustle, BUST.com, and Hallmark Cards. Her upcoming projects include giving her dog a bath later and hopefully writing for someone who will pay for her hot takes on Target’s sexual atmosphere and being racially ambiguous in the Midwest. You can see more of her work at miamercado.com but, like, no pressure.

This week, Mercado shared a few of her tweets with me and talked about drafting jokes and developing them into longer material.

This is based on a true story, but the names have been changed to protect the anonymity of my Theresa doll and Matt S.’s mom. Not sure if my 8-year-old self was trying to do some sort of voodoo magic, but it definitely did not work because later that year, I also asked Santa (via email, obviously) to make my crush like me back for Christmas. This further exemplifies how ~*chill*~ I was and continue to be. 

Are you chill on Twitter? How much do you edit/draft tweets before posting them?

Very not chill. The amount of time I sometimes take to draft and rewrite a tweet should be illegal. It’s mostly because I’m too wordy for anyone’s good. I also immediately question my grasp of the English language anytime I write a tweet and will google things like “past tense of ‘is’???” Unless I’m drunk at a wedding reception. Then, I’m like, “HERE U GO INTERNET HAVE MY GOOD GOOD TWEETS.”

What do you get out of being on Twitter? (i.e. Is it a way to get the news, or to share jokes, or to rant about your life?)

All of the above. I usually check Twitter first thing in the morning for news purposes. I like being able to hear other voices, smarter and more articulate than my own, talking about the world in a way that helps me understand it better. It’s also cathartic to complain about life or news in a joking way and know there are a handful of people listening. I’m also trying to be conscious about Twitter not being a complete echo chamber, about not replacing tweets with political engagement/action, and not letting myself go too far down Twitter’s gross, angry rabbit holes for sake of my own mental health.

This is also based on a true story in which I made the bad, bad mistake of reading the Facebook comments on a piece I wrote for Bustle. But ha ha joke’s on them because I ended up using some of those comments as inspiration to write this McSweeney’s piece and they didn’t even make me cry more than my usual 3-5 times a week!

Comments can be so annoying. That’s awesome you wrote a longer piece about it, though! How often do you turn tweets into lengthier material?

Often-ish. An admittedly kind of masturbatory thing I’ll do when I don’t have any ideas for longer pieces is read through my own tweets (ew yuck) and see if there’s anything I think is funny enough to expand. I also do the reverse: start writing a longer piece and realize I’m trying to stretch what should just be a tweet into a 500-word piece on, like, how funny I think it would be if Edible Arrangements were a sit-down restaurant.

I would just feel a lot safer if this existed, at least until we figure out what’s going on. 

What are some of your biggest comedy influences?

I really only started considered comedy writing as an actual thing I could pursue in the last five or six years. So, a lot of the funny people I look up to are people who have been formative for my sense of humor as an adult. Jenny Slate, Chelsea Peretti, Jon Early, and Kate Berlant (the latter two both as a duo and separately) are all people I’d watch do pretty much anything. Broad City and Bob’s Burgers are my comedy comfort food. I’m also a big fan of the podcast 2 Dope Queens and have been going through entire archives of My Brother, My Brother and Me.

Who are some people or accounts you enjoy following?
I think my Twitter feed would be a lot better if I only followed Megan Amram, Jaboukie Young-White, Alexandra Petri, and Aparna Nancherla. Also, Lin-Manuel Miranda. I’d also be fine to replace all CNN news alerts with updates from writers Jazmine Hughes, Jia Tolentino, Ijeoma Oluo, and David M. Perry. Wait, I take everything back: Sesame Street should be the only account anyone is allowed to follow on Twitter. Sorry, Lin.

 

Karen Chee is a is a writer/performer who contributes regularly to The New Yorker and McSweeney’s.

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